December is about to kick off, and we’re getting ready to crack open that first window on the advent calendar.

These are no longer just for kids – retailers and businesses have discovered that advent calendars for adults are a great way to flog 25 products in one go! It’s easy to be cynical about this, but the truth is there are some really cool options appearing on the market.


It’s not all chocolate. Wine, beer and spirits are popular for obvious reasons, but tea, cheese, jewellery and beauty product calendars are also available. Whatever you’re into, the chances are good that someone has made one with that niche in mind. We even saw a pork scratchings advent calendar the other day. Seriously.

As a child I loved opening a new window on the calendar each day, even if the low-grade chocolate inside wasn’t all that great. I’m still a sucker for chocolate calendars, but these days I go for good quality dark chocolate like this one from Montezuma; a tasty start to the day or a nice treat in the evening. Another one which is definitely for the evening is the Single Cask Whisky calendar from Drinks by the Dram, which gives you a bottled shot of fine whisky each day. They do a range of calendars with different spirits and at various prices; it’s a terrific way to develop your palette and a great excuse to enjoy a nice dram at the end of the day!

Nor do we forget the members of the household who make every day a bit more fun all year round – with a couple of calendars from Lily’s Kitchen, containing little treats for cats and dogs.

Of course, the ultimate in personalised calendars is a homemade one – that’s what we used to do before the recent flood of advent calendars for grown ups became available. Just buy a few treats that will really make an impact or have personal meaning (marshmallows, honeycomb, truffles etc.) and mix them up. Or you can make your own fillers from scratch.